Coasties looking to complete a master’s degree can now get help from the
service’s tuition assistance program, according to a Feb. 20 service-wide
The Coast Guard will now fund 75 percent of tuition costs for active-duty
members seeking their first master’s, up to $187.50 per credit hour, with an
overall cap of $2,250.
“This expansion of benefits is for graduate courses taken towards a master’s
degree and not for doctoral degrees, similar terminal degrees, or certificates,”
the message said.
The cost-sharing program was instated for fiscal year 2014, the first time
the service has used it since 2002. The Coast Guard had suspended tuition
assistance altogether in March 2013, then opened it up a month later, but only
for E-6s and below seeking undergraduate degrees.
Extra funding in the FY13 budget allowed the service to reopen TA for all in
August. However, a smaller 2014 budget made it necessary to reinstate
cost-sharing, a Force Readiness Command spokesman told Navy Times in November,
in order to keep the funds available to all active-duty Coast Guardsmen.
The service spent more than $12 million on TA in fiscal year 2013, according
to FRC spokesman Chief Warrant Officer 2 Donnie Brzuska. The FY14 budget
included only $7.8 million, he added, because of a cut in the service’s training
and education budget.
To assure full funding for “A” and “C” schools, he said, cuts had to come
from TA. Rather than limiting funding to certain ranks, the service decided
cost-sharing would allow at least some benefits to get to the widest-possible
pool of applicants.
Full details of the expansion are available in ALCOAST 065/14. For information on funding the
remaining 25 percent of tuition costs, including grants, scholarships and the GI
Bill, visit the Coast Guard Institute’s website at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg1/cgi/.